A few weeks ago, I told ya’ll about my latest favorite pig part: pork jowl. While doing some research for that post, I came across a recipe for Maple Glazed Pork Jowl Muffins.
I was so intrigued, I couldn’t resist trying them for myself last week.
Once, when I was visiting friends in Annapolis, Maryland, I happened upon a little stand that made doughnuts dipped in bacon bits. It was heaven, all salty and sweet, crunchy and soft at the same time. This recipe seemed to offer that same little slice of heaven.
“These muffins are sweet, savory, smoky, porky…a complete roll through the omnipotent tastes that make life here on earth something special. When you’re done eating one, you’ll start looking for the next one immediately,” the author promised.
The prep was easy enough, and the muffins did lovely things in the oven, turning all golden and rising majestically from the tins. But the glaze went on like frosting, giving them a cupcake-like quality. Which brings me to a very serious question: what is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? These definitely blurred the line.
Reviews were mixed. The muffins were indeed savory and sweet at the same time, with bits of pork jowl mixed in the way one would expect to find chocolate chips or walnuts. They were a bit dense though, and I didn’t think the maple flavor in the glaze was pronounced enough. Not sure how to remedy that.
One friend liked them, but liked them less once she found out there was pork jowl in them. Chicky pronounced them ok, but thought there wasn’t enough jowl. I thought maybe they’d be better without the frosting, as a straight savory cornbread-type thing, perhaps as a compliment to chili.
For those of you who might want to try this experiment at home, here’s the recipe. Let me know your verdict, please!
Smoked Pork Jowl Muffins with Maple Glaze
(from Group Recipes)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c coarse cornmeal
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c half and half
1/4 c plain yogurt
1/3 c butter, melted
1/4 c of finely grated mild cheddar
1/2 c pork jowl, 1/4″ dice (you can probably substitute thick-cut bacon)
– Preheat oven to 400 F.
– Cook the smoked pork jowl in a heavy skillet over a medium flame. When it’s crispy but still chewy remove it from the pan and drain on a paper towel.
– Sift together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
– Add the sugar to the melted butter and stir to dissolve. Then add the egg, half and half, yogurt, and cheddar to the butter mixture. Stir to combine.
– Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
– Add the pork jowl and mix lightly. Don’t over mix.
– Spoon into muffin cups and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until a knife inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
– While the muffins cook, mix up a glaze with confectioners sugar and maple syrup and once the muffins are warm but not hot drizzle them with the glaze.